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Fresh Del Monte Produce Reports Record Second Quarter Results --Net Sales Surpassed $700 million, Net Income Increases $15 million--

07.29.03

CORAL GABLES, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 29, 2003--Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (NYSE:FDP), one of the world's largest producers and marketers of fresh fruit and vegetables, today announced record financial results for the second quarter and six months ended June 27, 2003.

The Company reported earnings per diluted share (EPS) of $1.42 in the second quarter of 2003, compared with $1.18 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2002. For the first six months of 2003, Fresh Del Monte Produce reported earnings per diluted share of $2.97, compared with $2.28 per diluted share in the first six months of 2002. The 2003 year-to-date earnings include a $0.20 per-share gain from insurance recoveries.

Net income for the second quarter of 2003 was $81.2 million, compared with $66.5 million in the second quarter of 2002. Net income for the first six months ended June 27, 2003 increased to $169.3 million, compared with $127.5 million a year ago. The upswing in net income during the second quarter primarily came from a significant increase in gross profit and a decline in interest expense.

Net sales for the second quarter of 2003 increased to $700.6 million, compared with $567.2 million in the same period last year. Net sales for the first six months of 2003 rose to $1.3 billion from $1.1 billion in the same period last year. The growth was due primarily to the Company's diversification of its product line through acquisitions, the expansion of its global distribution network and the benefit of favorable exchange rates.

The Company's gross profit for the second quarter of 2003 increased 13 percent to $109.3 million, compared with a gross profit of $97.0 million for the second quarter of 2002. Gross profit for the six months ended June 27, 2003 was $216.3 million, compared with $203.6 million for the same period last year. The increase in gross profit was a result of the Company's growth in net sales in gold pineapple and non-tropical produce along with the increase in net sales generated by acquisitions.

Operating income for the second quarter of 2003 increased to $80.2 million, compared with $66.5 million for the second quarter of 2002. Operating income for the six months ended June 27, 2003 increased 12 percent to $162.0 million from $144.5 million a year ago.

"Our solid financial and operating results in the second quarter of 2003 are a powerful testament to the success of the steps we have taken to ensure our long-term growth," said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, Fresh Del Monte's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Our outlook is excellent and we are on track to deliver sales and net income performance that are in line with historical growth levels. As we move forward, we are sharply focused on executing our strategy and investing to fortify our competitive position in becoming the leading 'total' fresh produce company in the world."

Fresh Del Monte is a leading vertically integrated producer and marketer of high quality fresh and fresh-cut produce. The Company's primary products include bananas, pineapples, melons, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, onions, grapes, apples, pears, peaches, plums and plantains. The Company markets its products worldwide under the DEL MONTE(R) brand, a symbol of product quality and reliability since 1892.

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements regarding the intents, beliefs or current expectations of the Company or its officers with respect to various matters. These forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to the Company and the Company assumes no obligation to update these statements. It is important to note that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties. The Company's actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including those described under the caption "Key Information - Risk Factors" in Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.'s Form 20-F for the year ended December 27, 2002.

Fresh Del Monte will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time today to discuss the second quarter 2003 results and to discuss the Company's progress and outlook. The live webcast can be accessed on the Company's Investor Relations home page at http://www.freshdelmonte.com. The call will begin promptly at 11:00 a.m. and will be available for replay on the Company's web site approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call.

Note to the Editor: This release and other press releases are available on the Company's web site, http://www.freshdelmonte.com.

 Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. and Subsidiaries
                    Condensed Statements of Income
             (U.S. dollars in millions, except share data)


                            Quarter ended         Six months ended
                       ----------------------- -----------------------
                         June 27,    June 28,   June 27,    June 28,
                            2003         2002       2003        2002
                       ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------
                                          Unaudited
Net sales                  $700.6      $567.2    $1,344.4    $1,104.6
Cost of products sold       591.3       470.2     1,128.1       901.0
                       ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------
 Gross profit               109.3        97.0       216.3       203.6

Selling, general and
 administrative
 expenses                    29.1        25.0        54.3        48.9
Asset impairment charge         -         5.5           -        10.2
                       ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------
 Operating income            80.2        66.5       162.0       144.5

Interest expense, net         1.7         3.8         4.3         8.2
Other, net                    7.7         5.9        22.3         5.6
                       ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------
Earnings before income
 taxes and cumulative
 effect of change in
 accounting principle        86.2        68.6       180.0       141.9
Income taxes                  5.0         2.1        10.7         8.3
                       ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------
Earnings before
 cumulative effect of
 change in accounting
 principle                   81.2        66.5       169.3       133.6
Cumulative effect of
 change in accounting
 principle-SFAS No. 142         -           -           -        (6.1)
                       ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------
Net income                  $81.2       $66.5      $169.3      $127.5
                       =========== =========== =========== ===========

Net income per share -
 Basic:
Income before
 cumulative effect of
 change in accounting
 principle                 $ 1.44 $ 1.20 $ 3.01 $ 2.44
Cumulative effect of
 change in accounting
 principle                      -           -           -       (0.11)
                       ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------
Net income per share -
 Basic                      $1.44 $1.20 $3.01 $2.33
                       =========== =========== =========== ===========

Net income per share -
 Diluted:
Income before
 cumulative effect of
 change in accounting
 principle                 $ 1.42 $ 1.18 $ 2.97 $ 2.39
Cumulative effect of
 change in accounting
 principle                      -           -           -       (0.11)
                       ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------
Net income per share -
 Diluted                    $1.42 $1.18 $2.97 $2.28
                       =========== =========== =========== ===========

Weighted average number
 of ordinary shares
 outstanding:
   Basic               56,273,067  55,331,300  56,244,512  54,777,193
   Diluted             57,128,542  56,422,436  57,061,963  55,907,502

                            Quarter ended         Six months ended
                       ----------------------- -----------------------
                         June 27,    June 28,   June 27,    June 28,
                            2003         2002       2003        2002
                       ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------
Selected Income
 Statement Data
 (Unaudited):
       Deprecation and
        amortization        $16.5       $14.7       $31.4       $28.7
       Hurricane Mitch
        insurance
        proceeds(1)             -           -        11.5           -
       Gain on sale of
        Corrugadora(2)        5.5           -         5.5           -


                                              June 27,    December 27,
                                                 2003            2002
                                             ----------    -----------
                                              Unaudited
Selected Balance Sheet Data:
       Working capital                          $145.2        $103.4
       Total assets                            1,433.1       1,262.8
       Short-term debt                            18.6          40.0
       Long-term debt                             35.8          47.3
       Shareholders' equity                      911.0         759.5


(1) Other, net for the six months ended June 27, 2003 includes
business interruption insurance recoveries related to Hurricane Mitch,
which damaged Fresh Del Monte's Guatemalan banana operations in 1998,
of $11.5 million, or $0.20 per basic and diluted share.

(2) Other, net for the three and six months ended June 27, 2003
includes a gain on the sale of Fresh Del Monte's unconsolidated
subsidiary, Corrugadora, of $5.5 million, or $0.10 per basic and
diluted share.
CONTACT: Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., Coral Gables
John F. Inserra, 305/520-8065
or
Christine Cannella, 305/520-8451

SOURCE: Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.

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